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Help Me Add to my Southern Pantry

As much as I am using up everything that is in my kitchen before I go home, I also want to buy a few things to take back with me.  I need your help!

I always shop for food on every vacation, everywhere I go.  This time in the South is no different.  If you have any suggestions, please, oh please!  I would love to hear what I should buy.  I am in Tennessee and will be driving west and north.  I will probably go west approximately through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico and then north via Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.  I must add that I am only looking for non-perishable items.  Here is my list of take-home food so far:

1.    canned shoepeg corn
2.    sorghum
3.    annato
4.    Chesapeake Bay Style seasoning
5.    two different bags of stone ground yellow corn grits
6.    chestnut paste 'marron glace' from Brasil
7.    Lea & Perrins Thick Worcestershire Sauce
8.    The Old Mill sourwood honey with comb
9.    Demi-Glace de Veau from Williams Sonoma.  W-S doesn''t sell it in Canada
10.  Vidalia Onion Relish
11.  Mild Chow Chow
12.  Blue Corn Meal
13.  French Fried Onions in a can by French's


  1. Guess I've lived here so long now (10 years) that I'm not sure what I'd miss. For sure I'd be bringing some Hatch chile with me, powder and canned green, oh and some of those big bars of chocolate from Trader Joes, especially the extra dark.

  2. If you were in QC I could maybe help..Wow..have fun!!

  3. Hatch chile? I haven't heard of it. Something new to research. I will definitelly look for it because I have never seen it back home. Thanks, June! And thanks for thinking of me Nana. When I was in QC, I bought beautiful smoked magret of duck and duck meatballs in tomato sauce (for pasta) and duck rillettes. There is a wonderful farm with all these products. They also have a shoppe in Quebec City.

  4. I am not overly familiar with Southern cooking, so will look forward to whatever comes out of your kitchen in 2010 with all these supplies.

  5. What about gumbo file (pronounced FEE-lay)? You may be able to find it in that area. It's sprinkled into gumbos, jambalayas and soups at the end of cooking to add thickness and flavor.

    Also, Tony Cachere's cajun seasoning.

    (Sorry, clearly, I'm from the Cajun part of the South. :) That's all I got...)

  6. Thanks, Jenna. I forgot, I did buy gumbo file. I had never seen it before so picked it up one day. I'll look for Tony Cachere's cajun seasoning.

  7. Sorry can't really help. Your trip back home sounds exciting! Drive home safe darling.

  8. I'll have to think on this! Your list looks good so far.

  9. OH, I WANT TO HELP YOU!!! I'm in Texas! Um, you should get White Lily flour (self-rising for biscuits). I don't know what else to suggest haha. Most of the stuff I'm thinking of is in other areas of the U.S., too. If I think of something else, I leave another comment!

  10. BTW, you need to update my site on your blog list. It is now

  11. Some of our homemade bbq sauce :)

  12. While you're in Texas pick yourself up a bottle (or several) of Stubbs BBQ Sauce. Stubbs is an Austin classic and has been widely respected by pretty much every BBQ lover I've met.
    Other suggestions would be some of Zatarains Shrimp and Crab boil, some Cajun Injector Creole Butter, and some Slap Ya Momma Cajun seasoning. Yep, that's really the name.

  13. NM is not part of the south, but has some great and unique foods. Try red and green chile, specific type of chile used in our food, which is best described as Northern Mexican food. Sopapillas and bischocos are also both uniquely New Mexican, although biscochos are hard to find once Christmas is gone. Everything else is easy enough to find in a local grocery store.

    I would also recommend tortillas, they are very different in New Mexico/Texas, very fresh compared to what one would get in TN or VA (where I currently live).

  14. Give me your address I can send you hatch chili's and hatch chili enchilada sauce it's the only one I use for my Green enchiladas and hatch chili stew. If in Texas I highly recommend the BBQ sauce my favorite is "the salt lick" We also have a local guy who makes chocolate covered roasted cocao beans. Oh and don't forget the cajeta it's too good to pass up. Shoot I could go on, prickly pear jelly,salsas galore and Texas makes some slamming local wine and olive oil now too. Let me know if you need a care package. K

  15. Hi there,
    I stumbled across your blog from All I have to say is if you are interested in Hatch Chiles look no farther than Denver, Colorado...more specifically Federal Boulevard. Here is an article from a Denver community paper that gives a little insight into how serious Coloradoans are about hatch chiles. Enjoy!

  16. Gillian - thanks! I think Hatch chiles are a must.

    Kristina - another vote for Hatch chiles. Chocolate covered cacao beans...that is something I have never had. What a sweetheart to offer a care package!

    Anonymous - sopapillas! Good suggestion. Biscochos are new to me. I'll keep an eye out.

    Kristin - I would buy 'Slap Your Momma' just for the name! Thanks.

    Leigh - how nice!

    Memoria - White Lily, got it!

  17. there is a soft white flour in the south I believe it's called Lily's ?? maybe someone can help out here. My uncle uses it for his tender flakey pie crusts and biscuits

  18. Oh how I love Southern Food! Chicory coffee is definitely a Southern staple. Hmmm... maybe pralines or pickled okra too?

  19. Without a doubt, get some Jack Millers BBQ sauce if you can find it. Its a deep south cajun style bbq sauce. You need to cook with it on something, its not the kind you put on after somethings done cooking.

    Community coffee, a old southern brand, by far the best standard non-specialty coffee Ive ever had.

    As someone said above Tony chachere's seasoning, is also a must.

    Pralines if you can find them.

    And I dont know if you would like to pick them up as a snack if you could find them, but cracklins (aka fried pig skin). Its terrible for you but soooooo delicious.

    Hope this helped, I live in lafayette, Louisiana, the heart of cajun country so thats my two cents.


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